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ULIP vs Term Insurance: Key Differences

ULIPs are suitable for individuals seeking insurance-cum-investment products, while term Insurance Plans are ideal for those prioritizing straightforward coverage at lower premiums.

  • 1,516 Views | Updated on: Jun 26, 2024

Maintaining a robust financial strategy entails having sufficient savings, investments, and comprehensive insurance coverage. Financial professionals advocate for a balanced blend of investments and insurance within one’s financial portfolio.

Key Takeaways

  • ULIPs combine insurance and investment, offering flexibility, customization, and potential for market-linked returns.
  • Term Insurance Plans provide pure insurance coverage, affordability, renewability, and tax benefits.
  • With advantages such as pure insurance coverage and tax benefits, term insurance plans provide financial security for your family’s future.
  • Individuals can choose between ULIP vs term insurance plans based on their preferences and financial objectives.

Today, there are several insurance products available from various providers. The primary aim of investing in insurance is to ensure financial stability for yourself and your family. Alongside traditional policies, individuals can opt for either term plans or Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) . Term plan vs ULIP can be a tough choice; therefore, you should know the difference between term insurance and ULIP to make the right decision.

ULIP or Term Plan, Which is Better?

Determining whether a ULIP or a Term Insurance Plan is better depends on individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and circumstances. ULIP vs term insurance, both plan types serve different purposes and offer distinct advantages.

If you prioritize insurance coverage and investment growth and are willing to take on some investment risk, a ULIP might suit you. If your primary concern is to secure high coverage amounts at affordable premiums and you prefer a straightforward insurance product without any investment component, a Term Insurance Plan would be more appropriate.

ULIP vs. Term Insurance: Understanding the Differences

Before deciding which plan to buy, you should know the difference between ULIP vs term insurance plan. Here is a comparison between term insurance vs ULIP:



Term Insurance

Type of Plan


Pure life insurance

Suitable For

Individuals seeking both insurance and investment benefits

Individuals seeking pure life cover for a specific period


Offers investment in equity, debt, or hybrid funds

No investment component

Premium Amounts

Generally higher due to insurance and investment components

Lower premiums for the same coverage

Insurance Coverage

Combines life insurance coverage with investment benefits

Provides pure life insurance coverage for a specified term

Potential Returns

Market-linked returns based on fund performance

No investment returns

Cost Efficiency

Can be costlier due to charges and fees associated with investments

Cost-effective in terms of premiums

Associated Charges

Includes premium allocation charges, fund management charges, etc.

Typically no investment-related charges

Ideal Time to Buy

Suitable for long-term financial planning and wealth accumulation

Ideal for individuals with temporary financial responsibilities

Lock-in Period

Usually has a lock-in period ranging from 5 to 10 years

No lock-in period, policy can be terminated anytime

Financial Protection

Provides financial protection along with potential wealth accumulation

Offers financial protection for a specified period

Maturity Benefits

Maturity benefits include the fund value at the end of the policy term

No maturity benefits, as it’s pure insurance cover

Tax Benefits

Offers tax benefits on premiums paid and maturity proceeds, subject to conditions

Tax benefits on premiums paid, subject to conditions

Switching Options

Allows switching between different investment funds based on market conditions

No switching options available

Policy Duration

Can have flexible policy durations, often long-term

Typically offers coverage for a specific term

Investment Returns

Offers potential for higher investment returns based on market performance

No investment returns

Wealth Creation

Can contribute to wealth creation over the long term through market-linked returns

Does not contribute to wealth creation directly

What is ULIP?

ULIP stands for Unit Linked Insurance Plan. It is a life insurance product that combines insurance coverage with investment opportunities. With a ULIP, a portion of your premium goes towards providing life insurance coverage. At the same time, the remainder is invested in various investment funds, such as equity, debt, or a combination of both, based on your risk appetite and financial goals. The investment funds’ performance directly impacts your ULIP’s value, providing the potential for both risk and reward. ULIPs allow policyholders to switch between different investment funds based on market conditions or changing financial objectives.

Features of Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)

Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) offer several features that make them unique compared to traditional life insurance policies. Some key features of ULIPs include:

Insurance Coverage

ULIPs provide life insurance coverage, ensuring financial protection for your family in the event of your demise during the policy term.

Investment Component

A portion of the premium paid towards ULIPs is allocated to investment funds, potentially allowing policyholders to grow their wealth over time through market-linked returns.

Fund Options

ULIPs offer a variety of investment funds, including equity funds, debt funds, and balanced funds, allowing policyholders to select funds based on their risk appetite and investment goals.


ULIPs provide flexibility in premium payments, allowing policyholders to choose between regular or single premium payments. They also offer the flexibility to switch between investment funds based on changing market conditions or investment objectives.


ULIPs provide transparency in terms of charges, allowing policyholders to understand the various charges associated with the policy, such as premium allocation charges, fund management charges, and policy administration charges.

Partial Withdrawals

ULIPs allow policyholders to make partial withdrawals from their policy fund value after the completion of a specified lock-in period, providing liquidity in case of financial emergencies.

Tax Benefits

ULIPs offer tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act for the premium paid towards the policy and tax-free maturity proceeds under Section 10(10D), subject to certain conditions.

Advantages of Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)

ULIPs offer several advantages that make them an attractive investment-cum-insurance option for many individuals. Some of the key advantages of ULIPs include:

Dual Benefit of Insurance and Investment

ULIPs provide life insurance coverage and investment opportunities within a single product, offering policyholders the advantage of financial protection and the potential for wealth accumulation.

Flexibility in Investment

ULIPs offer flexibility in terms of investment options, allowing policyholders to choose from a variety of investment funds based on their risk appetite, financial goals, and market conditions. They can switch between different funds or allocate premiums according to their investment preferences.


ULIPs can be customized to suit policyholders’ individual financial goals and risk profiles. They offer the flexibility to adjust the sum assured, premium payment frequency, and investment allocation according to changing life stages and financial needs.


ULIPs provide transparency regarding charges and fees associated with the policy, enabling policyholders to understand the cost structure and make informed investment decisions. This transparency fosters trust and confidence among investors.

Potential for Market-Linked Returns

ULIPs invest a portion of the premium in equity, debt, or hybrid funds, offering the potential for higher returns compared to traditional insurance products. Policyholders can benefit from market appreciation over the long term, leveraging the power of compounding.


ULIPs provide liquidity through partial withdrawals, allowing policyholders to access funds from their policy value in case of financial emergencies or unforeseen expenses, subject to specified terms and conditions.

What is a Term Insurance?

Term insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for a specific period, known as the “term.” It offers financial protection to the policyholder’s beneficiaries in the event of the insured individual’s death during the term of the policy. If the insured person passes away during the term of the policy, a death benefit is paid out to the designated beneficiaries.

Features of Term Insurance

If you want to buy a term insurance plan, you should take a look at the features of this excellent plan:

  • Term Insurance offers death benefits to your family upon your death.
  • Various insurers offer maturity benefits as well to make the product flexible. However, to avail yourself of the maturity benefit, you need to have the return of premium cover.
  • It is one of the most affordable life insurance plans available on the market. You have to pay the fixed premiums throughout the policy tenure.
  • The premium paid towards the term insurance plan can be claimed for tax deductions. Also, the death and maturity benefits are tax-free.

Advantages of Term Insurance Plan

Term insurance plans offer several advantages that make them a popular choice among individuals seeking straightforward and cost-effective life insurance coverage. Some of the key advantages of term insurance plans include:


Term insurance typically has lower premiums compared to other types of life insurance policies, such as whole life or universal life insurance. This makes it a cost-effective option for individuals seeking pure death benefit coverage without the added expense of a savings or investment component.

Pure Insurance Coverage

Term insurance provides pure life insurance coverage without any cash value accumulation or investment component. As a result, policyholders pay premiums solely for the death benefit coverage, making it a straightforward and easy-to-understand insurance product.

Renewability and Convertibility

Many term insurance policies offer the option to renew the policy at the end of the term without the need for a medical exam. Additionally, some policies allow policyholders to convert their term insurance policy into a permanent life insurance policy, such as whole life or universal life insurance, without evidence of insurability.

Tax Benefits

Premiums paid towards term insurance plans are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, up to a specified limit. Additionally, the death benefit proceeds received by the beneficiaries are tax-free under Section 10(10D), subject to certain conditions, making term insurance a tax-efficient investment option.


When considering insurance options, both Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) and Term Insurance Plans offer unique advantages tailored to different financial needs and goals. ULIPs provide a blend of insurance coverage and investment opportunities, offering flexibility, transparency, and the potential for market-linked returns. On the other hand, Term Insurance Plans offer straightforward, affordable coverage, ensuring financial protection for loved ones without the complexities of investment components.

FAQs on ULIP vs. Term Insurance


Is ULIP the same as Term Insurance?

No, ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Plan) combines insurance coverage with investment opportunities, while Term Insurance provides pure life insurance coverage without any investment component.


What is the difference between ULIP and Term Insurance?

ULIP offers insurance and investment benefits, allowing policyholders to grow their wealth, whereas Term Insurance provides death benefit coverage without any investment component.


Which is better for long-term goals, ULIP or Term Insurance?

ULIP may be better for long-term goals as it offers insurance coverage and investment opportunities, potentially providing higher returns over time. However, the suitability depends on individual preferences and risk tolerance.


What is more cost-effective, Term Insurance or ULIPs?

Term Insurance is generally more cost-effective than ULIPs as it provides pure insurance coverage without any investment component, resulting in lower premiums for the same coverage amount.


Is ULIP better than a mutual fund?

ULIP combines insurance coverage with investment opportunities, offering potential tax benefits and insurance coverage, whereas mutual funds solely focus on investment and do not provide insurance coverage. The choice between ULIP and mutual funds depends on individual financial goals and preferences.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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